Your divorce is over and you are now receiving alimony or child support payments from your ex-spouse. Providing that the terms of your agreement don’t change, you’re all done, right? Not so fast! If your ex-spouse files for bankruptcy in Maryland, things can become more complex.
Alimony and Child Support After Bankruptcy in Maryland
Believe it or not, some people try to file for bankruptcy in Maryland partially to avoid paying child support or alimony. However, Maryland does not allow bankruptcy to grant those people relief from their obligations. Alimony, spousal support, child support and any other payments that are benefits to a former spouse are not eligible for relief during bankruptcy. Ex-spouses will still be required to make those payments during and after the bankruptcy process ends.
Bankruptcy Is Not a “Do Over” for Domestic Cases
Unfortunately, some people try to use bankruptcy in Maryland as a way to get a “do over” on domestic relations cases. For example, the ex-spouse might think that a bankruptcy court would stop assets from going to a child or non-debtor spouse so that the money could be used to pay creditors instead. Or, they might think that the bankruptcy court will alter the amount of child support or spousal support so that more money is available every month to pay off outstanding debts. However, that is not how bankruptcy court works! Bankruptcy court does not have the authority to change domestic case orders or overrule state-level courts when it comes to support orders.
Work with a Lawyer
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 states that alimony and child support payments must be paid first and before any other creditors, including the IRS. It is important that you work with a skilled lawyer if your ex-spouse is filing for bankruptcy and you are concerned that they may be trying to avoid paying the child support or alimony payments that you are entitled to. An experienced lawyer knows how to protect you and, if necessary, proceed with actions against their non-payment if they stop paying you.
Get Help with Your Post-Divorce Bankruptcy in Maryland with Lebovitz Law
Whether you are preparing to file for divorce or concerned about the financial impact of your ex-spouse filing bankruptcy in Maryland, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.